Source: Marshawn Lynch visits Raiders facility

Source: Marshawn Lynch visits Raiders facility

Marshawn Lynch spent his Wednesday visiting the Raiders facility as he considers a return to the NFL, a league source said.

Former NFL punter Pat McAfee of Barstool Sports first reported the news.

The visit marked an important first step in a possible union between Lynch and his hometown team.

What happened in that meeting pushed a long process further down the line. Lynch told the Raiders he plans to return to professional football, NFL Network reported later Wednesday afternoon.

The proud Oakland native retired after the 2015 season, and the Seattle Seahawks still hold his rights. Lynch still has two years left on a contract extension originally signed before the 2015 season.

The Seahawks green-lighted Lynch’s visit to the Raiders facility, though are several steps remaining before Lynch becomes a Raiders employee. 

Seattle would likely want to trade Lynch’s rights, though sources have said the Raiders are loathe to give up draft picks. The Seahawks don’t appear to have room for his $9 million salary under their current budget, meaning they could simply release him outright if the Raiders balk at a trade.

Either way, Seattle isn't expected to be an obstacle in Lynch coming to Oakland. Seahawks general manager John Schneider told ESPN Radio 710 in Seattle that Lynch wants to return and that transferring Lynch's rights to the Raiders would be easy given his strong relationship with Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie. Schneider and McKenzie worked together in Green Bay. 

"Marshawn is trying to figure things out. The Raiders are trying to figure things out," Schneider said. "My understanding is that, if he did want to come play, it would be for the Raiders, that’s it."

Even in the off chance a trade occurs, Lynch would have to re-negotiate his deal in Oakland.

The Raiders certainly need a bruising back like Lynch, but must feel confident he’s a solid fit in the organization. NFL Network reported Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio's opinion is key to this process. His meeting with Del Rio and other coaches went well, sources say, a vital step in bringing Lynch to Oakland. Lynch is certainly an on-field fit, even at 30 years old. He is a powerful, yet versatile back who would be an excellent scheme fit, especially running behind the Raiders’ hulking offensive line.

Landing Lynch would be a huge coup from a business perspective, especially after the Raiders were approved for relocation to Las Vegas last week. The Silver and Black plan to play in the Bay Area the next two, possibly three, seasons and Lynch would be a huge draw for Oakland Raiders fans. He champions his hometown whenever possible and is active in the community.

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.